Zero emissions driving has moved a step closer after two of the major players in developing fuel-cell cars announced new breakthroughs.
Hyundai has achieved 250 miles on a single tank of hydrogen with its fuel-cell prototype, while General Motors will unveil its latest version of the Zafira-based fuel-cell project at the Frankfurt International motor show next month.
Hyundai says its hydrogen powered Santa Fe could be on sale in four years, claiming one of the major stumbling blocks to a real alternative to petrol and diesel has been removed. The Santa Fe is the first four-wheel drive car to be fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell. Its extra range has been achieved through new technology allowing the hydrogen to be held in the tank at higher pressure - up to 5,000psi instead of 3,600psi. It also means a larger tank is not needed for the extra range.
The GM car, called HydroGen3, is lighter than the HydroGen1 car, with increased power output, improved range and a higher top speed at 93.5mph. It has a range of 250 miles and offers the same luggage capacity as the Vauxhall Zafira in five-seat form. It will reach 62mph from rest in 16 seconds, develops 82bhp and produces 159lb-ft of torque. (August 15, 2001)